Post-Tropical Cyclone Earl is approaching its final stages as a tropical system, but heavy swells are threatening Florida’s east coast.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center places the center of Earl about 215 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland in Canada with sustained winds of 85 mph, down from 105 mph earlier Saturday. The system is moving north-northeast at 10 mph and the NHC will stop issuing storm warnings.
Although there is no tropical warning in place, the system is expected to bring strong winds to parts of Newfoundland through Sunday.
“A significant reduction in forward speed is expected today, with Earl moving slowly northeast into southeast Newfoundland this evening through Monday,” the senior marine specialist said. NHC Hurricanes, Robbie Berg. “Weakening is expected over the next few days, and Earl winds are expected to fall below hurricane force tonight or early Sunday.”
The system’s wind field is expanding, now with hurricane-force winds up to 90 miles from its center and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 485 miles.
Swell from the massive system has already hit Bermuda and will continue to pound parts of the US East Coast, including Florida, over the coming days, the NHC said.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions,” Berg said. The National Weather Service continues to warn of the high risk of rip currents.
Volusia County Beach Safety said in a news release Thursday that it responded to an incident near Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach where a man in his 60s was caught in a rip current. He was pulled from the water without a pulse, but rescue personnel performed CPR and he was taken to hospital after finding a pulse. Two more rescues were made on Friday.
As Earl moves away, the NHC has its eye on another system expected to form off the coast of Africa in the tropical Atlantic after the weekend
According to the NHC Tropical Outlook at 8 p.m., forecasters expect a tropical wave to move off the mainland coast on Monday.
“Gradual wave development will be possible early to mid next week as it moves west or west-northwestward across the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean,” the NHC said.
Forecasters give it a 30% chance of tropical formation within the next five days.
After more than two months of relatively calm tropical activity, the past week saw the formation of the first two hurricanes of the season, with Hurricane Danielle also dying out during the week. The NHC also had its eye on several systems in the tropical Atlantic that ended up not forming.
The increase in activity is accompanied the statistical peak of the hurricane season – September 10 – in what was originally predicted to be an above-average tropical year. The Atlantic hurricane season had just come off a record two years with 30 named storms in 2020 followed by 21 in 2021.
Prior to Hurricane Danielle, however, the season had produced only three named tropical storms with Tropical Storm Colin’s last advisory on July 3. since 1997. The system that became Hurricane Danielle formed on September 1.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 1. 30.